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2023 "EleFootprints" Online Auction

In collaboration with The Elephant Initiative, Save the Strays International and private citizens, VFAE launched  the "EleFootprints" online auction on World Elephant Day 2023 to raise funds for VFAE projects in Odisha. The auction raised almost $8,000, which was allocated to rewilding forest patches and providing food and water to the 212 elephants in three core habitats.










Asian elephants are an endangered species with only around 40,000 Asian elephants left on the planet, 27,000 of them in India - 60% of the world's Asian elephant population. However, the burgeoning human population, rampant development and climate change are all changing the Indian landscape dramatically.

Elephants have already lost 80% of their habitats to reckless development such as mining, electrocution, railways, roadways, and agriculture. Forest fires are also on the rise, most of them set off by arsonists and poachers to lure the wildlife and trap them. In the last ten years almost 1,200 elephants have been killed across India. And in the last three years 245 of them have been killed in the central state of Odisha state where mining is rampant.

Every penny raised during this fundraiser will serve to restore core elephant habitats in the central state of Odisha. VFAE is planting elephant friendly saplings and creating waterholes inside the forests of Telkoi-Pallahara forest range and the Khuldia-Hathgarh range, so elephants can graze safely and stay away from human habitats, thus averting tragedies.

The critical role of elephants in mitigating climate change has been elaborated in a study by the International Monetary Fund. It calculates the monetary and ecological value of one African forest elephant at $US 1.75 million in terms of carbon sequestration.

Climate change is borderless, and impacts all nations, including the USA that experienced historic storm surges and floods in Florida, Kentucky, Texas and other states.  Therefore protecting these endangered megaherbivores is critical not only for the ecosystems in India, but also for countries around the world.

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